Dazed and Confused

Dazed and Confused ★★★½

Just as I feared: Another "I guess that was pretty fun" reaction to finishing a nostalgia-baked Linklater comedy with a stellar young ensemble cast and top-notch soundtrack. That being said, the positives are ever more apparent here than in the jock-infused Everybody Wants Some!!, as the variety of lived-in characters assembles a diverse sense of collective identity as these teenage stoners, jocks, and geeks people-paddle, pool, and party through their last day of school. Wiley Wiggins, Ben Affleck, Parker Posey, and Adam Goldberg are excellent. Matthew McConaughey is great. Would've preferred it if the paper-thin thread about Pink deliberating over signing the "no drugs" pledge was excised though. Linklater has always been a master at conducting a meaningful and intimate journey without placing any obvious signposts, and Dazed and Confused's fade-to-black ending results in a more profound sense of the world than, say, Lucas' strained American Graffiti ending does.